Reghams Dom­i­na­tor

Some­times, an orig­i­nal de­sign is so good that it can’t be bet­tered, but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be brought up to date…

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Some­times, an orig­i­nal de­sign is so good it can’t be bet­tered, but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be brought up to date… the Reghams Dom­i­na­tor is re­born.

There’s been count­less dif­fer­ent paint schemes to adorn scoot­ers over the years. Some are so iconic and well done that their legacy lives on. Cer­tain pe­ri­ods in time not only pro­duced clas­sic de­signs but they still re­main the most pop­u­lar to­day. The ex­plo­sion of cus­tom scoot­ers that were built after the post-1979 Mod re­vival into the early 1980s can def­i­nitely stake a claim to that ac­co­lade. Many were done by in­di­vid­u­als who had their own vi­sion of what they wanted to cre­ate but some were pro­duced by deal­ers along with a spe­cific theme. In York­shire, the most pop­u­lar of course was the ‘S Type’ pro­duced by AF Rayspeed but they didn’t have it all their own way.

York’s finest

There were many big scooter clubs based in ‘the north’ and none was any big­ger than York SC. It re­put­edly boasted more than 100 ac­tive mem­bers, and many lo­cal busi­ness thrived off their cus­tom. One of these was Reghams, based in York it­self, which was an es­tab­lished meet­ing place for lo­cal scooter­ists. With the surge of scooter own­er­ship at the time, Reghams pro­duced its own dealer spe­cial. Known sim­ply as the Dom­i­na­tor, it would fea­ture a tuned en­gine and lav­ishly styled paint scheme.

The paint­work for the Dom­i­na­tor was orig­i­nally done by Maca at DTC who by now had al­ready es­tab­lished him­self as one of the lead­ing painters on the cus­tom cir­cuit. Though it’s not sure how many of these ma­chines Reghams ac­tu­ally built, Maca re­calls paint­ing at least six, four in yel­low and two in blue. Painted be­tween 1981 and 1983 there’s scarce ev­i­dence of any other sur­viv­ing ex­am­ples to­day and this is prob­a­bly one of the rea­sons for them hav­ing such iconic sta­tus among the scooter­ing fra­ter­nity.

Rolling back the years

Pe­ter Pul­leyn had started his scooter­ing life just as the Reghams Dom­i­na­tor broke on to the scene. Hav­ing lived near the shop he was in awe of this stun­ning cre­ation, though too young at the time to af­ford one. When an ac­ci­dent trashed his Grand Prix, how­ever, he re­alised that now was the time to make his dream come true. To his knowl­edge, no one had tried to re­pro­duce a Dom­i­na­tor be­fore. Though Reghams doesn’t ex­ist any more... the painter does! Pe­ter con­tacted Maca about paint­ing a Lam­bretta in the Dom­i­na­tor scheme and with­out hes­i­ta­tion he was all too happy to oblige. Know­ing the ex­act lay­out of how the paint scheme needed to look meant he could vir­tu­ally mir­ror image the orig­i­nal. Though the en­gine would use cur­rent Lam­bretta tech­nol­ogy, Pe­ter was keen to try and keep as near as pos­si­ble an ac­cu­rate rein­car­na­tion of how it was done back then.


Though the Reghams Dom­i­na­tor is now re­garded as a clas­sic, it didn’t set the world on fire at the time it was pro­duced. A few were sold, but it wasn’t widely pub­li­cised so not a great deal is known about it. Luck­ily for Pe­ter, he does have mem­o­ries of them at the time and sev­eral ex­am­ples were sold lo­cally to own­ers who are still within the scene. With the help of friend Ja­son Pot­ter, who was in­stru­men­tal in the en­gine build­ing, he was able to track down a few im­ages of orig­i­nal ex­am­ples. This would help to a cer­tain ex­tent but by also us­ing Maca there was enough knowl­edge be­tween them to get it ex­actly right.

Pe­ter opted for the yel­low, red and black scheme which was the most pop­u­lar at the time. The de­sign, though clas­sic 1980s, has a mod­ern look to it and doesn’t look out of place al­most 40 years on. The yel­low base back­ground, al­lows the red stripes to stand out as they in­ter­twine with each other. Though it is quite a com­pli­cated de­sign, it does work well. The side pan­els are a lit­tle more sub­tle and the sweep­ing lines flow much eas­ier on the long flat sur­face of the GP pro­file. Maca has again de­liv­ered a clas­sic, with an out­stand­ing qual­ity of work­man­ship.


At the time the Dom­i­na­tor’s were pro­duced only cast bar­rel tun­ing was avail­able and the pre­ferred choice of ex­haust was the club­man. Though it’s still pos­si­ble to do it this way, mod­ern fuels don’t work quite so well – cer­tainly with cool­ing – so it was de­cided to take up the op­tion of an 225 RT kit in­stead, with a lit­tle port­ing. A GP200 gear­box, big­ger sprock­ets, a 28mm Del­lorto and BGM ex­haust com­bine to give smooth per­for­mance. Who knows, if Reghams were build­ing one to­day then per­haps that’s the route they would have gone down re­gard­ing what was ac­tu­ally in­side the en­gine?

At the front, there is very lit­tle in the way of fancy up­graded brakes. The orig­i­nal Dom­i­na­tor was based on the In­dian GP and so came fit­ted with a tra­di­tional drum brake. Pe­ter has done the same but with the re­verse pull sys­tem. Though not the best re­gard­ing stop­ping power if set up right the re­verse pull drum brake works bet­ter than you think. Even so, front dampers are still a ne­ces­sity and a pair BGM ones cope more than ad­mirably with the task of pre­vent­ing the front end from dip­ping vi­o­lently, a com­mon trait of the re­verse pull drum brake sys­tem.

As for the rest then it’s all very 1980s from the stan­dard 90mph speedome­ter to the GP cof­fin seat. An­other thing this Lam­bretta lacks is chrome. The orig­i­nal didn’t have it so pos­si­bly it would look out of place on a recre­ation was Pe­ter’s think­ing. There is a leg shield tool­box fit­ted for ex­tra spares etc. and Pe­ter’s nick­name of Piggy is present. Though this is a mod­ern ad­di­tion not seen on the orig­i­nal it is not out of place and helps take up the void space that is al­ways a prob­lem area with Lam­bretta cus­tomi­sa­tion. At the back is a flip-flop or Brad­ford back­rest as they are known which is syn­ony­mous with the 1980s scooter scene and looks the per­fect ac­com­pa­ni­ment. A small rear mounted rack be­hind

fin­ishes the job off nicely and is es­sen­tial for lug­gage when tour­ing. That’s about all apart from a long range tank which these days is an es­sen­tial part of the equip­ment on a mod­ern Lam­bretta.

Do­ing it jus­tice

What Pe­ter has cre­ated is a beau­ti­ful 1980s look­ing Lam­bretta pay­ing ho­mage to a clas­sic from that era. All too of­ten it is easy to over­look what you are try­ing to achieve when build­ing a replica from days gone by. Back then they used what was avail­able to them, whether it was in the en­gine or on the chas­sis.

Now with ad­vances in pro­duc­tion just about ev­ery Lam­bretta part ever made has been bet­tered one way or an­other. This has meant it’s easy to go way over the top and lose track of ex­actly what you’re try­ing to achieve in the first place. Yes, Pe­ter has used mod­ern parts in the en­gine and who can blame him? It’s al­right do­ing an ex­act replica of what was orig­i­nally done but if you are us­ing it on a daily ba­sis some sort of prac­ti­cal­ity needs to be built in.

By not be­ing too rad­i­cal with the en­gine or any­thing else for that mat­ter per­haps what he has done is cor­rect. If it was an orig­i­nal Dom­i­na­tor from the time and still on the road with what needed re­plac­ing then maybe this is how it would ex­actly be now. I’m pretty sure peo­ple read­ing about what Pe­ter has done or those that see it out on the open road will be spurred on to do the same with their next build. As we all get fur­ther and fur­ther im­mersed in scooter nos­tal­gia there will no doubt be many other recre­ations of clas­sic de­signs from days gone by. For now though, we can all ad­mire this one as it sets the per­fect ex­am­ple of how it should be done. Words: Stu Owen

Pho­to­graphs: Gary Chap­man

What­ever an­gle you look at this scooter from – it’s stun­ning.

Pe­ter’s only lit­tle per­son­al­i­sa­tion within the whole project is his nick­name on the tool box door.

At­ten­tion to de­tail, even on the small­est parts, is pure per­fec­tion.

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